We live in a time where the “synthwave” genre is without question over-saturated. It seems as though anyone with a laptop and photoshopped palm tree/neon glow logo is posting their version of something somebody already did better. It’s rare when a song comes along and really surprises us or makes you genuinely feel something, like so frequently during those first few years. Many artists have progressed into different or more commercial music styles, but as far as the instrumental synthwave/dreamwave/future synth guys are concerned, there are only a select few consistently making quality, exciting music. Uncle T apologizes if he sounds like a crusty old weasel.
Thankfully Lazerhawk is one of them. It’s a good thing, because his new album Dream Rider could’ve easily slipped through the cracks. With track titles like ‘Neon Dawn’ and ‘Cruise’, on the surface that sounds like something we’ve heard over and over again. There isn’t anything very special about the cover artwork either. I mean, it’s cool, but does nothing to stand out among the 7,000 other images of neon, grids, palm trees and cars.
Ah, BUT THEN THE MUSIC KICKS IN.
‘Awakening’ is just one example of how LazerHawk changes up the formula to bring us on a five minute voyage to depths hardly ever reached inside this style of music. The songs sound broad and massive. I like to imagine this music being recorded in an all-glass studio that sits at the top of a plateau with panoramic views of the desert. LazerHawk did it, folks.
His previous album Skull and Shark was a heavy and fast paced effort, suitably fit for a night drive or maybe a Soviet Russian boxer’s workout session. In contrast, Dream Rider is more of a daytime album that takes it’s time and focuses way more on the individual musical journey of each song, packed with dramatic ups and downs and sweeping synths. There’s also an alien-like, celestial feeling in some of the songs that I hadn’t heard him explore before.
Enough reading. Go find the nearest automobile, fire up Lazerhawk’s Dream Rider and ride directly into the sunset. Hopefully wherever you are in the world, these songs make your days a little warmer, your nights a little more seductive.
Buy Dream Rider here.